Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9422 is holding a children’s Christmas party from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 22 at 233 Spring St. The holiday event, free to the public, includes toys for all kids and refreshments.
The West Haven Wizards beat the Madison Marlins by a score of 423-230 this past Saturday. With the speedy Marlin team coming to West Haven, the Wizards knew they really needed to buckle down and put the work in to be ready for this tough meet.
Their hard work paid off with some very strong swim times. The Wizards were especially impressive in the 100-yard freestyle events, winning that event across all age groups: Aarya Mulmi and C.J. Sutton won the 9/10-year-old, Lauren Blake and Ean Annatone won the 11/12-year-old, Kaelyn Falanga and John Barrington topped the 13/14-year-old 100-yard freestyle and Emma Tirollo came in first for the 15-and-over.
The Wizards are hoping for their first win on the road against league rival, Watertown on Saturday.
For more information on the West Haven Wizards please visit our website at www.westhavenwizards.org.
The West Haven Girls Basketball continued with games Friday night at Haley. In a matchup of the leagues unbeatens, the Gunning Law Huskies upended the Rings End Bruins, 19-2.
Cashlin O’Neil and Finley Gunning combined for nine points to lead the Huskies. Samira Huckaby, Elena Cortes and Sophie McFarland also scored for the Huskies. The Bruins were led by the play of Jada Turner, Camilla Murphy and Diajah Taylor.
The West Haven Drug and Alcohol Task Force Panthers rallied from behind to upend the Shoreline Dental Cardinals, 19-14. Ciara Harp and Jacianna Mitchell accounted for all of the Panther scoring. Adora Morgan, Madden Evangeliste, Cristel Miguel and Danvia Pittman powered the offense for the Cardinals.
The final game of the night saw the Napoli Parts Eagles rally to notch their first win of the season in their 23-22 win over the Prospect Fish and Game Blue Devils. The Eagles used a balanced scoring attack led by Amalia Ortiz, Amarae Rosario, Justice Butler and Emily Velasquez.
The Blue Devils used scoring from Heaven McKinney, Madison McGuire Micah Pullen, Savannah McGorty and Terrianna Rodgers.
The West Haven Squirt A travel hockey team split a pair of games this weekend and now stands at 16-11-2 overall on the season. The Blue Devils lost 5-2 to Pawling A and shut out Wallingford A, 5-0.
On Saturday morning at the Edward L. Bennett Rink, the Westies hosted Pawling in a battle of two evenly matched teams. Pawling jumped on top midway through the opening period, but West Haven tied the game two minutes later when Sean Studley redirected Ryan Pniewski’s shot through the five hole and it was 1-1 after one.
In a back-and-forth second period, the Westies outshot Pawling but the visitors got a goal with a minute to go for a 2-1 lead.
Pawling scored twice more for a 4-1 lead in the third, before Cameren Lipford tipped another Pniewski shot over the goalie and in. West Haven pulled its goalie and had a few opportunities, but Pawling converted an empty net goal for the final margin of victory. The Westies outshot Pawling, 19-15, for the game with Maddex LaFountain making 10 saves for West Haven.
On Sunday morning at Remsen Arena on Choate’s campus in Wallingford, the Westies bounced back in a big way with a 5-0 win over the Wallingford Hawks. LaFountain posted a shutout and made 20 saves to lead the way.
Zach Melchiore got West Haven on top 2:32 into the game when Gavin Coady dumped the puck in and Melchiore took possession behind the net. Melchiore turned and jammed the puck in to make it 1-0.
The score remained 1-0 with both teams unable to capitalize until a West Haven penalty in the final minute of the second period. Studley corralled the puck in his own end, burst through a pair of defenders, and drilled home a short-handed, breakaway wrist shot with only :13 on the clock.
The Westies rode the momentum through the third period and pulled away. They executed perfectly on the power play when Ethan Kelly won the draw to Lipford, who quickly passed to Matthew Kelly at the blue line. Studley screened the goalie and Kelly’s laser went five-hole. Melchiore’s second goal of the game made it 4-0 when he one-timed Ethan Kelly’s feed to convert a two-on-one rush. Matthew Kelly capped the scoring with a long-range, empty net tally from his own defensive zone.
The West Haven Peewee A travel hockey team split a pair of games this weekend, falling to Greater New Haven A, before rebounding to top Central A.
The Westies opened the weekend by falling to Greater New Haven, 9-1, at the Northford Ice Pavilion Saturday morning. In what was a close game, Greater New Haven broke the contest open with five goals in a span of 2:50 in the second period.
West Haven’s lone goal came in the third period when Michael Madera set up Ray Heenie for a power play goal.
The Westies rebounded to defeat Central, 4-1, at the Bennett Rink in West Haven Sunday morning.
Mickey Dowd led the way with two goals, Madera added a pair of assists, and Zach Goetze had a goal and an assist.
West Haven jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period and never looked back. Mike Page gave the Westies a 1-0 lead just 2:56 into the game off an assist from Brady Price, and Goetze scored with 3:52 to go in the period for a 2-0 lead.
Leading 2-1, the Westies increased the advantage to a pair of goals once again when Madera found Dowd in front with 4:18 remaining in the second.
West Haven capped the scoring in the third when the passing of Madera to Goetze to Dowd in front gave the team a 4-1 lead with 6:37 left in the game.
Jacob Silva and Brian Hong were stellar in goal as Silva made several big saves early and Hong kept Central at bay with some solid stops. Heenie. Bruno Martone, Jason Alling, and Haygen Axelrod all played well defensively.
The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team suffered two heartbreaking losses over the past weekend.
On Saturday, the Westies welcomed the Greater New Haven Warriors to the Bennett and fell, 5-4. After going down 4-0 to start, the Blue Devils came back to even the score 4-4.
Justin Pniewski scored the first goal for the Westies with just 11 seconds left in the second period, with Matt Morgan getting the assist. After GNH took a five-minute major penalty for boarding, West Haven capitalized on the power play.
Matt Wezenski scored at the beginning of the third period for the first goal on the power play as Carl Murgo was credited with the helper. Morgan scored the second goal on the Warriors major penalty, with Pniewski getting the assist.
Pniewski then got his second goal of the day to even the score after being down four goals, Cade Simone made the pass to Pniewski who buried the tying goal. The Warriors scored the game-winning goal with five minutes left in the game, with the Westies unable to answer.
Kevin Gardner, Joey Honcz, Jayden Spreyer and Wezenski had valiant efforts in the loss.
On Sunday, the Westies traveled up I-91 to take on the West Hartford Wolves, where they left with a 3-1 loss. Pniewski scored the only goal for the Blue Devils on the day.
The entire game was a back and forth battle, but the Westies were unable to capitalize on the chances they had. David Brown, Nolan Cole, Colin Deane and Dante Hardt all played well in the loss.
Brendan Smith played well in goal the entire weekend for the Westies.
Coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory, the West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy girls hockey team has plenty to prove in 2018-2019. Fresh off a campaign which saw the Westie Sharks post 18 victories, but fall to New Canaan in the state quarterfinals, the team is ready to again make some noise.
Led by senior captains Veronica Lynn and Francesca Criscuolo, and assistant captains in seniors Celina Condon and Kyleen Crowe, the team has a solid nucleus. Add to the mix juniors Brooke McNabola, Taylor Nowak and Megan Froehlich, and sophomores Jianna Cohrs, and Mia Celentano, and the Westie Sharks have a strong nucleus of talented players.
“Our girls have been working hard and are motivated to win after a tough loss to New Canaan in the state quarterfinals last season,” coach Erin Blake said. “We are ready to come back and prove ourselves. We take each game, win, loss, or tie, and learn from it. They have learned a lot over the course of the past year, and have set goals that they are ready to achieve. I am proud of their growth as a team and excited to see what this season holds. Their teamwork, dedication, and heart is any coach’s dream.”
Blake is well aware any good team starts with solid goaltending and even better defense. For the Westie Sharks, senior Crowe and freshman Grace Nowak will see time between the pipes, while Lynn, McNabola, sophomore Mackenzie Gardner and freshman Meghan Dupre will anchor the defense.
Offensively, the Westie Sharks will rely on seniors Criscuolo, Condon, Zoe DeFalco and Grace Plunkett, juniors Nowak and Froehlich, and sophomores Cohrs, Jenna Hunt, Celentano and Hailey Alfano.
Freshmen Maya Boyhen, Caitlin Welch and Mae Iverson will also be counted on to provide offensive punch.
Criscuolo looks to center a line with a rotation of Condon, Celentano, and Hunt, while Nowak will center Froehlich and Cohrs.
“We are excited for our talented freshman class this season,” Blake said. “They work hard, are eager to learn, and will be a great asset to our team. (Caitlin) Welch, (Maya) Boyhen, and (Mae) Iverson will see time in our rotation of forwards. (Meghan) Dupre and (Grace) Nowak will contribute immensely to our defense, Dupre as our fourth defenseman, and Nowak in the net.”
While there are plenty of team and individual goals. There is also a team goal for a group which has become a family. With the passing of Pam Gardner, the Westie Sharks lost more than just one of its biggest fans.
“The team has heavy, but full hearts and a lot to play for this season,” Blake said. “With the recent passing of one of our number one fans, West Haven High School principal, and team mom, Pam Gardner, we want to honor her memory this season.”
The Westie Sharks opened the season with a split of their first two games. In the opener Saturday night, West Haven / Sacred Heart Academy fell to Suffield co-op 3-2 in overtime, before rebounding to blank Hand 6-0 in the home opener Monday evening.
In the road contest to open the season, the Westie Sharks watched as Sophie Lupone scored twice in regulation, before Tori Geaglone scored the winner in overtime.
WH/SHA poured 38 shots on goal, but were only able to score twice as McNabola tallied each time. McNabola evened the game at one in the second period off an assist from Condon, then scored an unassisted goal with 5:28 to go to force overtime.
Crowe made 32 saves in the loss, including twelve in the third period and three in overtime.
“I was extremely proud of how the girls played,” Blake said. “Suffield is a good team. We knew that going into the game. Our girls showed up ready to play. I was proud of the way they fought hard the entire game. Moving forward, we know what we need to improve on.”
WH/SHA rebounded with a 6-0 victory over Hand Monday evening at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven. Seven different players picked up points, including freshmen Dupre and Welch.
Cohrs and Nowak led the way for the Westie Sharks with two goals and an assist apiece, while Froehlich had one goal and one assist.
WH/SHA took a commanding lead in the opening period, scoring five times. Cohrs scored off an assist from Froehlich 1:57 in for a 1-0 lead before Taylor Nowak scored off an assist from Cohrs, then set up Froehlich 13 seconds later 7:31 in for a 3-0 lead.
The Westie Sharks extended the lead to 4-0 1:22 later when Welch and Gardner assisted on Nowak’s second of the game, before Dupre scored off an assist from Criscuolo 10:19 in. Cohrs capped the scoring at the 2:07 mark of the third period with her second goal of the game.
Crowe made 14 saves and Grace Nowak four in the combined shutout.
Christmas Eve breakfast
First Congregational Church is having a breakfast on Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24, from 9-11. The menu consists of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit platter, coffee, tea and juice will be served. All are welcome.
New Year’s Party
The West Haven Italian-American Civic Association, Inc., will hold its annual New Year’s Eve party on Monday, Dec. 31, at the Cielo/WHIA club facility, located at 85 Chase Lane. A full-course sit-down dinner with dessert and coffee will be served at 6:30 p.m., followed with music for dancing by Sound Alternative from until 12:30. The open bar affair is $65 per person. Reservations along, with full payment required by Dec. 28, may be made by calling Frank Consorte (203) 676-6379 or Ellen Marazzi (203) 933-7740.
Center plans trips
Join the West Haven Senior Center for the following scheduled trip: All trips leave from Savin Rock Conference Center.
MGM Springfield Casino Tuesday, Jan. 15, cost is $25 per person. Bus leaves Savin Rock Conference Center at 8:30 a.m. Trip includes $10 free slot play. Payment is due by Jan. 4. Registration information for rewards card to be completed at time of registration.
Flyers with details for this trip are available at the office West Haven Senior Center 201 Noble St., or call (203) 937-3507 for more information.
F Seniors and Friends has a trip planned for the new year: A trip to Atlantic City is planned for Jan. 2-4 at Resorts Casino. It includes four meals, $20 in slot play and two shows. Price is $229 per person.
For booking, call Fred at (203) 389-5808 or (203) 927-4249.
The Agency on Aging of South Central CT is sponsoring a self-care education program for family caregivers, designed to provide you with tools and strategies to better handle the unique challenges you face. The free workshop series consists of six sessions held on Wednesday evenings, 6-8:30, May 23, 30, June 6, 13, 20 and 27 at the Agency on Aging of SCC at One Long Wharf Drive, Suite 1L, New Haven. A light dinner will be served. To register, call or e-mail Jan Simmons at (203) 785-8533 ext. 3164, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also register online at www.aoascc.org/forms/ptc/.
An Al-Anon meeting group invites new members to attend its weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church, 52 George St. For information and details, call (203) 506-1464.
Balancing the care of a family member, a household and a job is overwhelming. Meet with a representative from VNA Community Healthcare’s Family Caregiver Support Network for a FREE consultation to discuss your personal care-giving issues, receive tips, guidance and explore solutions. Call VNA Community Healthcare’s Helpline at 1 (866) 474-5230 (toll free) to schedule a private in-person or phone session with one of our family caregiver experts. Consultations are held by appointment at several convenient locations including West Haven, Hamden and North Haven.
Milton Cochran, USMC
See part 1 here.
See part 2 here.
It takes a special kind of woman to choose a man as broken in body and spirit as Milt Cochran: She must accept that the road ahead will be very hard, the days will be long and tiresome, and frustrations will be many. She must look beneath the deep scars and skin grafts and see someone with exceptional needs, and a special spark that makes him completely irresistible. And then she must choose to make him her partner for life.
She will be his caretaker, and he will be her hero.
The year was 1970: As her graduation from West Haven High School approached, Marguerite “Peggy” Mursko’s mother began urging her to apply at the Veterans Administration hospital to become an X-Ray Technician. Soon thereafter, she was a VA Hospital trainee.
One day while she was in the hospital library studying medical textbooks, a dark-haired young man in a wheelchair approached her. He stopped and asked her what she was reading about; “anatomy” was her answer. “That’s my favorite subject,” he replied. They spoke for a couple of minutes, exchanged first names and pleasantries, and he went off to check out his books. Peggy wouldn’t see him again for several weeks, but she waited and watched for his return.
Finally, by chance they met again. They began to spend time together on the fourth floor of the VA Hospital in the orthopedic ward where Milt was quartered. Milt had a transistor radio, and they’d listen to music on it while they looked out of the high window at the lighthouse across the harbor and talked about life and love.
And the other guys in the ward would whistle and kid Milt about how the pretty girls always went to him.
Later on, Peggy would say, “It was in that ward that I fell in love with him, wheelchair and all.”
What followed didn’t take long: the young couple were married in 1972, and lived for a while in Seymour before moving to Arizona where the climate was more agreeable to Milt and his wounds.
And the years and the decades passed: Milt and Peggy became parents, and later, grandparents. And Peggy dutifully tended Milt’s wounds and gave her support as Milt struggled with the nightmares and the PTSD that would haunt him forever. Milt called her his Angel.
In his final years, Milt Cochran contracted a rare form of liver cancer which would take his life in 2015; finally, he was moved to hospice care. As the end neared, Milt told Peggy that he was ready to go, but he wished that he could have just one more year. Through tears she asked him why he would want to suffer for another year. His answer was that it would be worth all that suffering, if he could just be with her for a little bit more.
Shortly thereafter Milt Cochran slipped away, escaped the suffering, and was at peace.
Decorated Combat Corpsman Milton C. Cochran died Sept. 11, 2015 and later was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
By Rosemary Russo
As the end of the year quickly approaches I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some accomplishments of the West Haven Public Schools. All of our students and staff should be proud of the events that occurred in 2018.
The year began with the construction of the new high school becoming a reality. By early spring the G wing was demolished, mid-summer you could begin to see construction taking shape and by October a Topping Off Ceremony was held. The Shops moved into their “Swing Space” in January so students were able to continue with hands on experiences in Wood, and Automotive.
February brought exciting academic news for our schools. State Report Cards were released and West Haven Public Schools growth was outstanding. Forest Elementary school achieved a ranking of “1” and all other elementary schools, the intermediate school and the middle school all achieved a ranking of 2. Forest would later be named a Blue Ribbon School by the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. A huge honor for Mr. Thomas Hunt and all of his teachers and staff. Congratulations to the students at Forest Elementary School for working so diligently.
The spring months brought the regular struggles of the budget. As we all know this was a difficult year for West Haven. Once again employees of the BOE made sacrifices to insure our kids would still have everything they needed. Services or staffing would not be effected because of these sacrifices. Employees from the top down took pay freezes. The assistant superintendent took a pay cut. Teachers agreed to a 0 step movement and no raise. The Nurses followed with the same deal.
In June we celebrated student achievements and graduations. Bailey, Adult Ed, and of course West Haven High School students moved on to the next level of their education. Many of these students graduated with Honors.
August came and the new school year began. The record-high heat was a challenge but we made it through.Academics and sports were back in full swing.
October brought overwhelming sorrow in the passing of Mrs. Pam Gardner, Principal of West Haven High School. Hundreds of mourners paid their respect to this courageous woman who made such a difference in so many lives.
In November, Mrs. Dana Paredes was named Assistant High School Principal of the year. A well-deserved honor to a very hard working woman who wore many hats the past year at the High School.
Each of these achievements are noteworthy but achieving so many in one school year is spectacular. Thank you to our teachers, paras and administrators for all that you do for our children.
The West Haven High School building committee, along with all boards and commissions in the City of West Haven, recognizes the importance of being transparent and providing information when it is requested in a timely manner.
For the Building Committee’s part, we hold regular monthly meetings that we publicize a year in advance, our agenda is posted with the City Clerk’s office, and our minutes filed upon completion and in accordance with the law.
In addition, we have always answered questions from the public when requested to do so. The new West Haven High School Building Project is 20% complete, and has been nothing but a huge success. The management team has done a spectacular job keeping this project safe, under budget, and on schedule.
This open letter in in response to concerns that are being raised again by a mother of two high school students, Christine Barrington, about the management of the High School Renovation Project, and the high school in general.
Mrs. Barrington, a layman when it comes to projects of this nature, does not understand the process and has been making wild and inaccurate claims over the past two years. Thousands of dollars are included in the budget that allow for safely remediating and disposing of hazardous materials. We now realize that no matter how many times experts in the field of construction, asbestos monitoring, and abatement explain the process and law; she continues to claim she knows more than they do.
This project, from the very beginning has put the safety of all first and foremost. All industry standards have been followed, and those State agencies charged with overseeing the demolition and construction of the new building including the Department of Health, have approved plans prior to any work taking place and monitored the implementation.
Here is what the entire community should know about the renovation project taking place on the West Haven High School campus:
~~ Hundreds of air samples have been taken throughout the course of the project, and all have concluded the building is safe for occupancy.
~~ Prior to the opening of school in the late summer of 2016, new security cameras were installed. Once concerns were raised, state agencies as well as local officials investigated the matter, and the building was deemed safe.
~~ All custodial staff are trained according to laws and standards when it comes to cleaning and following remediation protocols.
~~ Expert licensed asbestos professionals test according to DEP and EPA regulations.
In addition, more asbestos testing has been done than that of which is required, and in each case, all samples have come back negative. The bottom line is that there is no dangerous asbestos situation at West Haven High School and my niece and nephew, all other students, staff, and visitors are safe.
Chairman, WHHS Building Committee